Gene Drive Supplement

Double-tap Gene Drive Overcomes Resistance Alleles

May 25, 2022

A research team at the University of California San Diego reported a "double-tap" strategy, which could improve gene drive efficiency by recycling resistance alleles. Their findings are reported in Nature Communications.

Researchers are working to develop a safe and effective homing CRISPR gene drives that could control the spread of vector-borne diseases, crop pests, and invasive species. However, resistance alleles are formed after the drive induced DNA break is repaired by error-prone pathways, leading to mutations that may prevent the gene drive propagation. This led the researchers to develop the double-tap strategy which involves encoding additional guide RNAs targeting the most commonly generated resistance alleles into the gene drive.

Results showed that the double tap strategy enhanced drive efficiency and was effective in caged populations, exhibiting higher efficiency rates than the control drive. The strategy can potentially be used in CRISPR-based gene drive to improve performance in the case of mosquitoes and other systems, such as mammalian cells or mouse germline transformations.

Read the research article in Nature Communications.

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